Saturday, May 24, 2008

Latest Adventures of Thunder in Tulsa

You're right, that's not Thunder. As most of you no doubt noticed, that's not even a Red-tail, it's a Turkey Vulture having a grand time flying. I took this photo today but I wasn't in Tulsa unfortunately, so it isn't of Thunder. Though it does make me wish I could fly.
Here's R. of Illinois' latest update--
Donna - latest adventures of Thunder:

Last evening about 7:45, Thunder inadvertently stepped off the nest ledge area, backwards, made a great save, and ended up on a small steel mesh catwalk-spiral staircase about ten feet below the nest site, where she spent the night alone in the wind with the nest camera murkily filming her as best possible in the dark.

Russell Mills of the TV station, KJRH in Tulsa, just posted this on the observation forum:

"She's on the nest level. We have no idea how she got back up there, except by "branching" her way up.

If you watch the video clip I encoded this morning, you'll see her branch from the "plank" back up to the grid work where she spent the night. Two more strategic hops and she could have made it back up to the nest level. What's impressive is that she figured out just how to do that :) About that time it did start raining lightly, so perhaps that provided the extra incentive she needed."

I have not yet read the day's observation posts to catch up blow-by-blow, but there will certainly be posts there recounting her parents' arrival, food drops, and her self-rescue back to the nest.

To see the Hawk Cam set-up and tower close-up, go the the KJRH web site, then Hawk Page, then at the top bar, select Photos. In about the second row there is a photo of the set-up taken from the ground by a hawk fan in Tulsa. Also, another local posted a note on the observation forum that there is a grassy area near the TV station where people have been parking their cars and waiting and watching, in anticipation of the fledge. There ARE "watchers after all!!!

There is new video posted on the Hawk page, of the inadvertent fall from the nest last night, and then, after daylight today, one of their cameramen went out and stood below (one station employee estimated that the nest is about 80 feet off the ground), filmed video from the ground as best possible with no tripod and no super-long lens, of activities on the catwalk-spiral stairs where Thunder was fed by both adults, and made some heart stopping branching, including "walking the plank" a number of times.

More later.


I'd been a little concerned that people hadn't come out to watch the fledging in person but now they have and in cars yet. They're developing their own "mobile hawk bench". I'd love to be able to watch the new hawk watchers evolve as a group. It's all going to be wonderfully fun and exciting!
Donegal Browne


Judy in MA said...

Thunder flew off the tower a little after 6am CST. She went to the edge flapped a couple of times and flew straigt off. So glad I got to see it!

Donegal Browne said...

Do you know if they've tracked Thunder down yet?